Law School Discussion

Top law school chances for an engineer

Top law school chances for an engineer
« on: June 10, 2013, 07:16:01 PM »
Hey all. I was looking to see what everyoneís thoughts were on my chances at a top law school. Quick background on myself:
  • Iím an electrical engineering student from a no-name state university.
  • Iíve got a 3.69 GPA, which has been on a steady upward swing so Iím hoping for a 3.75ish GPA by the time Iím done.
  • Iíve spent the past few semesters interning with an oil company, and will have 3 or 4 semesters of experience by the time Iím finished. Iíve also been in a social fraternity for three years and a resident advisor for two years.
  • Havenít taken the LSAT yet, but Iím planning to put in a lot of work into it and Iím good test taker, so Iím hoping for a score in the vicinity of 170 (But really who isnít?).
  • Iím scheduled to graduate in December 2014, but may push it back to May with a business minor.
Assuming I finish out my career with a 3.7-3.75 GPA and 168-170 on the LSAT, am I competitive for a top law school? Being realistic, Iím setting my sights on the schools hovering around the bottom half of the top 20. Particularly Iím looking at Michigan, Duke, Berkeley, Cornell, Texas, UCLA, ect.

As a little more information about myself, I'm still in the process of deciding whether I want to apply to law school or not. I'm also considering applying for a doctorate program in engineering or I may just go right to work as an engineer after undergrad. If anyone could recommend any good blogs or books about law school, admissions, the legal profession, ect, I would appreciate it!

Re: Top law school chances for an engineer
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 02:01:40 PM »
I think you are making the common mistake of putting the carriage in front of the horse. If you have a 3.75 and a 170 LSAT can you get into a top law school? I would bet substantial sums of money the answer would be yes, but until you take the LSAT you have no idea what your options are.

Instead of worrying about what schools you might be accepted to before getting an LSAT score focus your attention on taking the LSAT and doing as well as possible. Once you know your score you will know what your options realistically are, but until you have an LSAT score it is a waste of time to consider if you can get into a Top Law school.

I will also add that getting a 168-170 puts in the top 10% of test takers and people that actually show up for the LSAT are college educated individuals that are focused enough to want to go to law school and did not chicken out and cancel your score and I would guess people that show up for the LSAT are in the upper echelon of intelligence to begin with so finishing in the top 10% of that pool is unlikely and 90% of people don't finish in the top 10%.

This will also be true when you attend law school I know on my first day 100% of students were convinced they would be in the top 10% of the class. Almost everyone in my class was smart, hard-working, and motivated, but 90% of my class did not finish in the top 10% and half of my class finished in the bottom half of the class, but many still went on to have successful careers.

I personally also think rankings and other things are destroying law schools and students. The reality is that at any ABA school you will learn the exact same thing and once you graduate and pass the bar your a lawyer whether you attended Harvard or Cooley.

With all that said I hope you get a 180 on the LSAT, but I won't be betting on that happening. Good luck and please focus on the LSAT and don't worry about schools until you have a score.

Re: Top law school chances for an engineer
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 11:19:04 AM »
I agree with livinglegend, until you have an actual LSAT score this is all pure speculation. It's easy to underestimate the difficulty of the LSAT, and you can't assume that you'll score in the top 5%.

That said, if you pull off a high score you have a good shot at many well respected schools. Your GPA is solid, but things like grade trend and major will be accorded little weight by most schools. Law school admissions is primarily a numbers game, and once you have an LSAT score it will be fairly easy to calculate your chances at most schools.